Parents visiting? Here’s where to take them for breakfast, lunch and dinner

By Kathaleen Purvis
November 20, 2018

You just can’t wait for your parents to visit you in Charlotte, can you?

You can’t wait to show off this shiny, pretty place where you live now, to show you can navigate Queens Road onto Selwyn without a driving app and prove how quick you are at the Lynx ticket machine.

But then, it’s time to feed them. And you freeze. That place you love in South End is so loud. Hanging out in a brewery won’t work – how will you explain how you got so good at cornhole? And when your dad sees what you pay for a soy latte and a granola bowl at your neighborhood coffee place, you’ll never heard the end of it.

You need a guaranteed set of Visiting Parent places. A breakfast worth dragging them out early. A lunch spot where they’ll feel at home. And a dinner place worthy of the money you know they want to drop on you.

So, here you go: A perfect day of food with your visiting parents:

Breakfast: Famous Toastery. Yes, the lines can get long on a Saturday. But you have 10 locations, from Matthews to Davidson, so there’s probably one that isn’t too far away. And there are five versions of Eggs Benedict. For once, everybody can pick something they like. Locations: Prices: $11 to $13 for Eggs Benedict. Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

The perfect visiting-parent lunch stop? Fenwick’s on Providence, for chicken salad with a muffin.
John D. Simmons

Lunch: Fenwick’s: It’s small, it’s friendly, and it’s got a great chicken salad plate. Your mom will love the tea-room feel (and the muffin that comes with the salad). And your dad can get a griddle-cooked burger. With any luck, he’ll nap all afternoon. 511 Providence Road, $10.95 to $12.95 for chicken salad (plate or grilled chicken), $10.95 for a burger. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.

Where to take your parents for dinner: We’d vote for La Belle Helene. It’s big, pretty and guaranteed to impress.
John D. Simmons

Dinner: La Belle Helene. Yes, you want to take the ‘rents uptown. And the new-old Paris dining temple practically glows. The traditional brasserie menu is so classic, it feels chic. Gear-head dads will be fascinated with that wall-size rotisserie, and the roast chicken it produces is an event. It’s not cheap. But your parents probably think you’re worth it. 300 S. Tryon St. $24 for a half chicken, $48 for whole, both with roasted potatoes. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch weekdays, 5 p.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. for dinner; 5-11 p.m. Saturdays (no lunch), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays for brunch.